BREAKING: Park Pictures Features signed Philip Seymour Hoffman to star in God’s Pocket, the upcoming film directorial debut from John Slattery, who adapted the Pete Dexter novel with Alex Metcalf. Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks and John Turturro will co-star. Gersh is selling. Park Pictures Features is producing with Hoffman’s Cooper’s Town Productions and Slattery’s Shoestring Pictures, which makes its producing debut. Producing is Sam Bisbee, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Slattery, Lance Acord and Galt Niederhoffer for Park Pictures and Emily Ziff and Hoffman for Cooper’s Town.
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is a theatrical director, a film producer, and a board member of the Labyrinth Theater Company. But above all, he’s an actor, and a relentlessly inquisitive one. Much like the cult leader Lancaster Dodd he plays in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, Hoffman is continually deconstructing flawed souls on stage and screen: An accused pedophile priest (Doubt), the suicidal Willy Loman (Broadway’s Death of a Salesman), and Truman Capote (Capote) are among the many. Meryl Streep once told the New York Times about her Doubt costar: “One of the most important keys to acting is curiosity. I am curious to the point of being nosy, and I think Philip is the same.” In The Master, Hoffman imbues the puzzling depths of his guru with a warm, paternal nuance while exposing Dodd’s violent, drunken underbelly. Of utmost importance for Hoffman was syncing with the dramatic rhythms of Joaquin Phoenix’s delinquent Freddie Quell, who is not only his protégé, but his doppelganger.
AwardsLine: How did Anderson prepare you for the role?
Philip Seymour Hoffman: It doesn’t work that way, where Paul prepares you. He’s a writer, so he’s writing all the time. The screenplay was an amalgamation of many things he was writing through the years and then eventually, he had a screenplay. He sent it to me four years out from shooting it. I was part of a development process with him of the story and the character. He had a plan and knew what he was going to do, but I was the guy he was bouncing it off of for a while because I was going to play Lancaster. So that’s how I prepared for the part, talking about and ruminating about it. It was a journey we both took together; it’s just that his job was a lot bigger than mine.
Producer Tony Krantz Sells Projects With Ted Talley, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Fareed Zakaria & Twitter’s Biz Stone
EXCLUSIVE: Four years after he left TV producing to focus on feature directing, former Imagine TV topper Tony Krantz re-entered TV last summer. In his first year back, he landed a series on the air, NBC’s upcoming Dracula starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and a pilot order at ABC for Scruples. Now Krantz has set up six more series projects at cable and broadcast networks through his independent production company Flame Ventures. All are executive produced by him, with Flame’s Reece Pearson co-executive producing.
At NBC, Flame is finalizing a deal for Cuba, a drama written by Jorge Zamacona (Homicide) and executive produced by CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria and former CNN President Jonathan Klein. The project, which will be produced by Universal TV, tells the story of American and Cuban families at the dawn of post-Castro Cuba with an entire nation up for grabs.
The closing of the 69th Venice Film Festival this evening was awash in scandal, and the preamble to the prizes appears to have had its share of confusion as well. Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master took the most kudos with the Silver Lion for directing and a shared best actor Volpi Cup for Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. However, a person close to the process confirms to Deadline that the jury originally wanted to give the top prize Golden Lion to The Master, but the panel was hampered by rules that don’t allow for one film to be too heavily weighted. So, tonight, the Golden Lion was given to South Korea’s Kim Ki-duk for redemption story Pieta. That film was very well-received during the festival and indeed was the one that most considered a challenger to The Master. But it’s a scandal this does not reflect the Venice jury’s true intent.
Meanwhile, at the Lido’s Sala Grande tonight, the jury mixed up the Silver Lion for best director and the special jury prize between The Master and Ulrich Seidl’s absurdist religious tale Paradise: Faith. Ultimately, it was Anderson who won the Silver Lion and Paradise: Faith which snagged the jury prize. Hoffman had just jetted in from Toronto, and had already said his thanks for the jury prize on behalf of Anderson, before bouncing back up to the stage to collect the Lion when the mistake was noted. He had also accepted the acting awards on his and Phoenix’s behalf.
Hadas Yaron took the Volpi Cup for best actress in Rama Burshtein’s Israeli arranged marriage drama Fill The Void. Olivier Assayas won for best screenplay for his 1970s-set French film Après Mai. Daniele Cipri was recognized for technical achievement for Italy’s E Stato Il Figlio and Fabrizio Falco was named best emerging talent for the same film.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe and Robin Wright will star in A Most Wanted Man, a spy thriller directed by Anton Corbijn. The modern-day spy thriller will be co-financed and co-produced by Demarest Films’ Sam Englebardt, Michael Lambert and William D. Johnson. The screenplay was written by Andrew Bovell (Edge Of Darkness, Lantana), based on the best-selling novel by John le Carré. Producers are Gail Egan and Andrea Calderwood under their Potboiler Productions banner and Stephen and Simon Cornwell from Ink Factory. Johnson and Englebardt will executive produce alongside Tessa Ross of Film4 and le Carré. FilmNation Entertainment is handling domestic and international sales.
Here is the new theatrical trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the charismatic central figure of the movie, which some have suggested is a thinly veiled take on Scientology but Anderson has said it is definitely not. Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix co-star in …
When Deadline revealed a month ago that Philip Seymour Hoffman had ended his Death of a Salesman run by leaving his longtime agency Paradigm, we were first to tell you that Hoffman was being courted by Lionsgate to play the role of Plutarch Heavensbee in the Francis Lawrence-directed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Lionsgate has confirmed that he’s set to join Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson and will play the head game organizer in the film, which should be a welcome respite from his grueling nightly performances as Willy Loman in the Mike Nichols-directed Tony-winning Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s classic play. Here’s the release:
Santa Monica, CA, July 9, 2012- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE are pleased to announce that Philip Seymour Hoffman has been cast in the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, Head Gamemaker for The Hunger Games, in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel Catching Fire.
Here’s another trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, from The Weinstein Company. The first one focused on Joaquin Phoenix’s character’s restless and destructive nature, and now that character connects with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s The Master, who starts his own belief system. These are unorthodox vignettes, and …
Mike Fleming Interviews Director Mike Nichols; Will ‘Death Of A Salesman’ Revival Bring Him Ninth Tony Award?
At age 80, director Mike Nichols has won eight Tony Awards, and is a frontrunner to add another with Death Of A Salesman. The revival of Arthur Miller’s 1949 groundbreaking play is up for seven Tony Awards including Best Revival. Nichols chose Philip Seymour Hoffman for Willy Loman, the world-weary salesman on the downside of the American dream; Andrew Garfield as son Biff; Finn Wittrock as son Hap; and Linda Emond as Linda Loman. The show just became the rare straight play to crack $1 million for a week’s worth of performances, through the Memorial Day holiday. That is the seventh time the limited-run play broke the house record for the Barrymore Theatre. The limited run ends Saturday. Here, Nichols discusses a play which wears out its cast nightly but clearly has reinvigorated its director.
DEADLINE: Give me a second while I start the tape recorder.
NICHOLS: Tape recorder? I thought this interview was going to be off the record.
DEADLINE: This is one that should be on the record. Your production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman might be the best received version since the very first in 1949. At the risk of betraying myself a cultural cretin, yours was the first Salesman I saw, and so for me the title was a real spoiler.
NICHOLS: Because it told you what was going to happen? The very first producer they went to thought that and wanted them to change it but he wouldn’t. So they had to go to the second producer.
DEADLINE: Why take on The Great American play?
NICHOLS: Several things. Most great plays of the past lose their grip on immediacy; on application to our lives right now. That is the opposite of the case with Salesman. Take, for instance A Streetcar Named Desire, which is one of the reasons I’m in the theater. I had a girlfriend who got us the very fancy theater tickets when I was in high school. Believe it or not, we saw it the second night. We were so stunned by it we didn’t get up to pee, we didn’t talk; we just sat poleaxed for the three hours or so. And to this day I still remember it as the only thing I’ve ever seen that was a hundred percent real and a hundred percent poetic at the same time. And then about sometime later, maybe a year later, we saw Salesman. It was no longer the number one cast. Lee J. Cobb was already out of it. He only did it three and a half months because it’s a part that just kills the actors.
Philip Seymour Hoffman has been firmed to star in the Anton Corbijn-directed adaptation of the John Le Carre spy thriller A Most Wanted Man. The film was on Deadline’s list of hot titles at Cannes.
In present day Hamburg, Germany, …
Just as it did last year, the 2011 Toronto Film Festival has gotten off to a slow start on the acquisitions front. I spoke with many buyers after last night’s onslaught of acquisition title premieres, and the common feeling was these distributors need to fill slots in their schedules and they want to fall in love, but haven’t quite gotten there yet with most of these films. They had some reservations on just about all of the films they saw. These films will clearly find distribution homes, but the reaction means that deals will drag out because those distributors aren’t going to be posting large minimum guarantees, the way they did in Cannes.
Even the big sale of the festival so far, the Steve McQueen-directed NC-17 sex drama Shame, wasn’t a huge commitment for all the press hoopla that followed Deadline’s reveal that the film had sold to Fox Searchlight. I am hearing the deal was a mid-six figure minimum guarantee around $400,000, and a P&A commitment around $1.5 million. That sounds about right, because the filmmakers were most concerned with entering this year’s Oscar race to capitalize on the performances by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, and ensuring that not a frame of the picture was changed. But it doesn’t sound like a wide release picture.
As for the wide release titles, they are going to sell, but it will be a struggle for sellers to get the dollars they want. I saw one of those titles that sit atop buyer lists last night. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was scripted by Simon Beaufoy, directed by Lasse Hallstrom and stars Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas and Amr Waked, the latter playing a wealthy sheik who pays a fisheries scientist to stock a stream with trout. The film is sophisticated, funny, timely and utterly charming, and I would be surprised if it isn’t snapped up by Monday or sooner. That film got the best reaction from the buyers I spoke with. The pace of auctioning has been complicated by the volume of premieres last night, including Rampart, Take This Waltz, The Oranges, the hockey comedy Goon and the Morgan Spurlock-directed documentary Comic-Con: A Fan’s Hope. Buyers had to make choices, and some were seeing films like Salmon this morning. I expect a flurry of deals toward the end of the festival, which is how it played out last year.
Since there’s little going on so far, you have time to notice things. Here are a few things I’ve noticed: